Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Do families get connected and smarter..with smart phones?!–Part 1


We’re a home full of smartphone owners. A family that is,  “totally connected” .. as my children would put it. The only problem is, only one of them picks up the phone, to stay connected and I haven’t gotten smarter in spite of, mine! 

Getting their cellphones for their 11 birthday was the biggest event last year, for my girls, not to mention the resulting HOLE it made in Papa’s pockets.

The girls have strict instructions not to answer calls other than their parent’s and not to share their phone numbers with anybody other than their immediate family and some friends. They’ve been quite abiding by it and hopefully they will continue to do so.

At school, they aren’t allowed phones in their classrooms. So, their phones were safely tucked away, in their lockers, while, I had tried to reach them that day..when I couldn’t find my voice recorder and was in this determined mood to learn Raag Hamsadhawani…that my music teacher had recorded the previous day. 

Well…wasn’t that the only reason I had given my permission, to get them the phones?! So that, I could reach them anytime, when I’m not able to find something I was looking for!!!

WELL,  that intent turned out to be a bummer. If there is a home that would win an equivalent of a Razzie award, for misplaced stuff, no need to look further..It’ll be mine. 

Let me make myself clear.

“ I’m never able to find anything that I share with my children.” 

I’m never able to find anything related to our music classes, notes, recordings, and now even the stuff in my kitchen disappears. Last year, in the name of Mom, the girls, got another pair of UGGs and do I ever find it when I want to wear it?! 


I’m totally scared now,..that they are reaching to be my size. I will not be able to find my dresses as well. Well…I guess, I’m safe to some extent. I mostly wear Indian clothes and my children don’t wear Indian to School, unless there is a change in the fashion sense.

What is this about girls being so obsessed with their parent’s clothes?!  Anybody has any logical reason to give me? I remember myself trying out my Mom’s sarees when she used to be away at work and had mentally reserved so many for myself. 

My youngest child, R, is already reserving all my dupattas for herself. When I told her that they are too big for her. She remarks…

“Mama they are perfect as a sari for me…on my lehenga!”

So, there goes my well collected hand crafted unique dupattas that I haven’t gotten a chance to show off..since, I became a MOM!

I had bought most of my Indian dresses for the sake of those gorgeous dupattas, and imagine handling that… when you have to deal with babies..toddlers..kids. Almost choked myself a number of times as I juggled with my children.

I know this post was about being connected,…especially about smart phones. How people are getting smarter, using smart phones!  Well..my next point is precisely that.

With smart phones..we’ve entered of new realm of multi-tasking.  Haven’t we?! And we’er just starting. Shopping, banking, business deals, catching up…a click away.

Wouldn’t it be wow..if you could juggle so many tasks and end up completing each of them successfully and do a good job of it, too?!  How about texting while you drive?! How about crossing the road while you are texting?! Yeah..dangerous situations. We’er not just dealing drunk driving, now.

Scares me .. how I should even discipline my children so, they are safe and keep others safe.

Well..this post was not about tackling these serious situations that we’ve become exposed to, with the introduction of smart phones but, on a lighter note..it’s about poking fun at myself.

Does focus and efficiency go hand in hand with Multi-Tasking?

Do smart phones aid us in that effort?

I came across this recent opinion/study about smart phones, that said, that smart phones making people become super multi-taskers, is a Myth.

See, It lets you browse things while you wait on something else, lets you play games while you wait for your program to compile, lets you whatsapp while you wait for your child at the activity center or whatever the case…

According to some TDH study …its making people less efficient. 

(TDH =Tall Dark and Handsome?!…ugg no! I’m way passed the M&B days now. Ain’t I? How about Tom Dick and Harry"? Do you have a better suggestion?! Do let me know.)

That study says…our bodies, our minds are not meant to multi task..

OK..a game to prove it.

Try saying the alpahbets,  A through Z and then count 1-26 as fast as you can. Note down the time taken. Then do this..

A, 1, 2, B, 3, C…..and so on and take the time down.  Don’t you see that you do the first task faster?!

Yeah..well, that’s the argument. But, I can’t imagine not keeping the Rice to cook, while I make the daal, or wash the dishes, or put a load of laundry in between cooking.  If I had done like they suggested..I would taken 2 hours instead of one to finish my tasks, won’t I?

Well…maybe that study was pointing to the multi tasking we do at work, on our computers,  on our smart phones?!

( Did I mention,  how hard it was for me, to ignore that Facebook notification, and, all those outlook emails that flashed,  as I was typing this blog!  Imagine being bombared with such messages while you cook up an algorithm.)

As I drove today, I was mentally listing down all the things I was going to finish during the day…I almost forgot where I was driving to!! I even had the music down. So, I wasn’t even listening, while I thought and drove.

So much for my argument. I guess, some people are not meant to multi task.

Well…for all the problems that smart phones may have and maybe causing our society, as we speak..It has made life easier for most of us in many ways.

My children now..text us from their activity class

“Daddy come and sign us out, we’er done.”

It gives us the scope to run an errand while they are engaged. It gives us the scope to not be running back..if the class is going to be delayed.

We’ve been able to message our kids, if we’d be missing when their school bus arrives..

“Hey kids..just a few minutes away.”

They’ve been able to socialize with their neighbor friends through out this winter…making plans for any activity they would like to get together about. The phones have gotten into photography…and wonder…why their images don’t look like the one that Mom takes with her camera…AH!!  isn’t that, the first step towards the quest for perfection? The realization. Next, they’ll want to know the reason.

A few weeks ago, I was surprised to find this message from Papa on our whatsapp group.


and there was a reply too!!


Can you imagine pulling your feet out of the blanket, to walk over to their room..after you’ve tucked yourself in bed..with the winter we were facing. Who could blame him?! Smile with tongue out

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